It’s a difficult thing to not know who you are. Especially when you’re surrounded by other people who seem to know exactly who they are. This was the problem of the young boy in this story. See, this young boy had never known who he he was, who his parents were or even where he’d come from. He didn’t even know his name and all the other boys he lived with simply called him “Boy”.
So for the eight years of Boy’s life, he’d been living with a gnawing hole in his heart, not knowing who he was or where he’d come from. The other boys spoke of people called fathers who were apparently men who loved their children, but Boy knew nothing about fathers. Were they like the chefs who fed them dinner in the mess hall? Were they like the jesters who came in every afternoon to make them laugh at the fireplace? Did fathers give them chocolate bars like the chefs did every day at lunch? Boy really did love those chocolates and if fathers were anything like chocolate, he would like them a lot.
But no one ever told him exactly what a father was like or what one looked like. And even though the other boys seemed pretty fine without their own fathers, Boy wasn’t happy. He wasn’t happy at all. And the question that haunted him every night was, “Why did my father leave me?”
Then one day, he met someone who would change his life forever.
“Booo!” a voice shouted behind Boy.
He jumped in shock and turned to see a strange boy standing there. The boy was strange to Boy because, unlike the other boys, this boy wasn’t wearing pants. He was wearing some sort of strange blue blanket draped around his body. And his hair was puffy and stood on the sides of his head in two round balls of fur like two rabbit tails.
“Who are you?” Boy asked. “And why are you wearing that weird thing?”
“Because I’m a girl!” and the child grabbed the edge of this blanket-looking garment and twirled in a circle. “And this is a dress!”
Boy raised an eyebrow in surprise. “A girl? What’s that?”
The girl’s eyes went wide in surprise. “You don’t remember me?”
Boy shook his head. “Do you know me?”
The girl laughed and her brown eyes seemed to shimmer against her dark skin. “Of course I know you, silly! Your name is Godson. And I’m here to bring you home.”
“Godson?” Boy repeated. “That’s my name? And you’re taking me home? Wait. How did you even get in here?”
“My name is Numa!” the girl announced, ignoring his questions. Then she skipped around the room, whistling to herself. She skipped around one full round then stopped in front of Godson where she’d started and grinned and waved at him.
“How do you know my name?”
“Your father told me,” she said. “And he told me to bring this to you.” She reached into her pocket in her dress and pulled out a rolled up scroll. She unrolled it in front of Godson and revealed a series of colored lines and elaborate images etched into it. It was a map.
“You know my father?” Godson gasped. “Who is he? Where is he?”
“Of course I know your father, silly!” Numa giggled. “How do you think I found you?”
“Where is he?”
Numa held the map out in front of him. “He wants to play a game with you. He’s hidden six toys around the kingdom and this map is gonna lead us to them. He wants us to find the toys and bring them to him so he can play with you. It’s gonna be so much fun! Let’s go!”
She rolled up the map, stuffed it back in her pocket, then grabbed Godson’s hand and dragged him across the room. They made it to the window, but Godson pulled back before Numa could climb onto the windowsill.
“Wait,” he said. “Why did my father leave me?”
Numa scrunched her nose at him. “Leave you? He never left you. They took you.”
Godson stared at her in confusion. “Who took me?”
Numa’s eyes lit up like stars and she clasped her hands against her cheeks. “Is that chocolate?!” She pointed at Godson’s bed at a bar of chocolate he’d left behind from lunch.
“Yes…” Godson said, confused by her reaction.
She was squealing and running in place as if standing still would make her insides explode with excitement. Then she threw herself onto Godson and clutched his shirt. “Can I have it? Pleeeeeeease??? Oh pretty please, Godson? Can I have it, can I have it, can I have it, can I have it?”
“Okay….” Godson said, reaching for the bar. He slowly held it over her head and she snatched it like a dog playing fetch.
Godson blinked and Numa had shred the wrapping, stuffed the bar into her mouth, and devoured it. Then, with her lips smeared with chocolate dark as her skin, she sighed then turned back to the window.
“Wait! Numa!” Godson tried to stop her, but she ignored his scream. What Numa didn’t seem to know was that Godson’s room was on the sixth floor. But before he could stop her, they were jumping out and dropping to the ground below.
Little did Godson know that this would be the least of the dangers he would soon face with Numa. Because finding his father would be the most exciting and scariest adventure of his life.